Total Exploration and Production Limited, Operator of Oil Mining Lease OML 58 is impacting on the agricultural development of her host communities among other things.

The company on Tuesday in Rivers state distributed truckloads of new improved hybrid cassava stems to more than 400 farmers. More than sixteen communities who are host communities of the company’s oil field in Obga/Egbema/Ndoni Local government Area of the state were given the stems which is part of the company agricultural development initiative.

Speaking during the occasion, Total’s Deputy General Manager, Community Affairs and Development , Mr. James Urho re-iterated the resolve of the oil firm towards improving the agriculture and boosting growth and development of the communities.

According to Mr. Patrick Idoko who stood in for Mr. Urho, “ The decision by Total Exploration and Producing Nigeria Limited to introduce this improve stems to farmers is to boost agricultural development as a viable and profitable business.

“This new stem has several advantages over the traditional cassava stem currently being used by farmers in Nigeria due to its super yield. Today’s ceremony is symbolic because we are officially handing over the improved cassava stems to 400 selected farmers from 16 Egi communities to plant and nurture them to maturity.

“We have plans to introduce a fully integrated cassava processing chain for the good people of Egi” Urho revealed. Calling on the beneficiaries to utilize the opportunity given to them and ensure the optimum use of the inputs given them to achieve success as cassava farmers.

“We think that there is no money in farming, because we are doing it the wrong way. We must go back to farming. Farmers live longer because they go to farms and harvest organic fresh food and eat, which is like medicine to the body.”

The good gesture of the oil firm attracted commendation from the leaders of the various communities. Among whom is the paramount ruler of Egi clan, Charles Okikeih, who received the cassava stems on behalf of farmers in the community.

Okikeih said. “We are very happy for this initiative by you (Total E and P Nigeria Limited). It shows that you are caring and responsive to our needs: you have tried, but we still want you to do more for our people.

“we want you to check among the farmers and pick those who are perfect in farming and train them more in modern agricultural techniques,” he pleaded.